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When Should You Seek Marriage Counseling?

Most of us have a certain idea about marriage counseling - we usually think of it as a modern idea, having grown out of the increase in divorces. Going to marriage counseling seems to indicate that the marriage is in trouble, and the counseling is a sort of last-ditch effort to safe it. It's unfortunate that we have this association. In the olden days, marriage counseling wasn't called marriage counseling - but it was widely practiced, usually before the marriage took place. Most religions, for example, have a sort of pre-marital counseling that is designed to help the couple develop clear, honest communication and to be clear about their intentions with regard to the marriage. In modern marriage counseling, we do some of the same things - but usually after the marriage has begun to deteriorate.

The best time to start marriage counseling is early on - preferably before you get married, or early in the marriage, especially if you have some indication that you and your partner need to improve communication. Unfortunately, we have a negative association with the idea of marriage counseling. Many people are afraid that if they bring the subject up, it will be interpreted in the wrong way. This is a mistake. Recognising the need to improve a marriage, or to work on better communication, should not be taken to mean that the marriage is headed for disaster. The simple fact is that marriage counselling is more effective when it's not used as a last-ditch effort.

In fact, the one time that marriage counseling will not help is when one of the partners has already mentally or psychologically detatched himself from the partnership. At this point, individual counseling may be what is needed. In order for marriage counseling to be successful, both partners need to really be committed to working at it. They need to be there to enhance and improve the marriage, not looking for a reason to leave it.

If you are at that point in your marriage, check the psychological association directory in your area for names our counselors. Another option is to ask around - ask friends, or your family doctor. Marriage counseling is not an easy fix, but it can be a new beginning - and it's definitely worth your while. If you have trouble affording counseling, some communities have free or low-cost counseling programs.

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Source: www.isnare.com